Joseph Masika was a practising doctor in Tanzania frustrated by his inability to make real change to public health policy. So he left for Adelaide to study and when he returned to Africa he began educating the wider community through grassroots preventative health care programs in a bid to “really make a difference”, reports the Southern Cross.
Since then he has become a national advocate for multiculturalism and inclusion across Australia. For the past year,
Dr Masika has been working at Intercountry Services – the Families SA business unit within the South Australian Government that provides comprehensive guardianship, case work and support services to unaccompanied humanitarian minors aged under 18.
The 53-year-old Edwardstown parishioner is also co-chair of the Family Passion Group of Saint Anthony’s Church – a movement established to build Christian community among Australians and refugees.
“As a professional who is also Catholic, I strive to do justice, love, kindness and walk humbly with God,” said Dr Masika, Intercountry Services team leader and also Commissioner of the South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission.
Later this month, South Australian Governor Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce will present Dr Masika with the Order of Australia Medal in the General Division for his service to the community through multicultural and social welfare organisations.
The award recognises Dr Masika’s 28 years of voluntary service to the community, including 16 actively promoting multiculturalism in South Australia and supporting the community development and effective settlement of new and emerging communities.
Besides numerous awards, Dr Masika has helped shape migrant and refugee policy through board positions, including chairman of the African Communities Council of South Australia since 2007 and member of the Commonwealth Consultative Committee on Africa.
FULL STORY Born to help others (The Southern Cross)